WOOSTER, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University women's basketball team outlasted some late runs by Hanover (Ind.) College and won the opening game of the Nan Nichols Classic, hosted by The College of Wooster, by a score of 87-77.
Four Yellow Jackets (2-0) found their way into double figures as junior All-Ohio Athletic Conference guard Hannah Fecht (Hilliard/Davidson) led the team with 20 points. Senior Academic All-OAC guard Katie Smith (Fairview Park/Fairview) and sophomore guard Riley Schill (Sheffield Village/Elyria Catholic) both came up one point shy of their career-highs, scoring 17 and 15 points, respectively. Junior Academic All-OAC forward Rachel Womeldorf (Lewis Center/Olentangy) added 11 points of her own. Fecht also led the rebounding effort with 11 boards, notching her first double-double of the season, and freshman forward Sydney Diedrich (Chardon/Gilmour Academy) grabbed eight rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets shot 52.4 percent from the floor (33-of-63) compared to the Panthers 33.8 percent (23-of-68) and also won the rebounding battle 49-33.
A high-powered first quarter began when Smith made a layup to open up the scoring. BW and Hanover then traded baskets until sophomore guard Kasey Hughes (Springboro) hit a three-pointer to give the Yellow Jackets a 9-6 lead with 7:25 remaining in the corner. The Panthers proceeded to go on a 6-0 run in just under a minute of play to build a five-point advantage. With 3:08 left in the first quarter, Fecht hit a jumper to bring the score to 19-17. A steal by Hughes followed by a layup then tied the game at 19 while Fecht gave BW the lead with a layup at the 2:15 mark. The Yellow Jackets held on to a one-point advantage at the end of the quarter, up 22-21.
BW built up a lead in the second quarter, going on an 8-0 run over a span of 2:26 to take a nine-point lead and eventually pushed the lead to 11 points before the Panthers cut into the deficit before halftime. Schill made a jump shot as the clock wound down to give the Yellow Jackets a 42-33 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
Hanover started the third quarter on a 6-2 run, bringing the Yellow Jacket lead down to five points before Fecht buried two three-pointers on back-to-back offensive possessions to open up a double-digit lead. The Panthers climbed their way back into the game with the help of senior guard Allison Nash who ripped off four straight points to give Hanover a one-point lead with 1:52 remaining in the third quarter. The BW offense would respond, however, as the Yellow Jackets ended the quarter with an 8-0 run, capped off with a three-point play by Schill to regain a five-point lead going into the final period.
Once again, Hanover opened up the quarter with another run, this time a 10-3 run that gave the Panthers a three-point lead with 6:45 left in the game. Just over a minute later, Hanover still held a three-point advantage until Smith and Schill combined for five points to regain a Yellow Jacket lead. Nash eventually tied the game at 69 with 4:15 remaining before sophomore guard/forward Kara Marshall (Copley/Akron Archbishop Hoban) hit a key three-pointer followed for a 74-71 score in favor of BW. The Panthers answered and brought the game within one point when Womeldorf and Fecht combined for 10 of the Yellow Jackets final 15 points. Schill sealed the deal by making four free throws in the final 30 seconds.
BW will play host Wooster in the final game of the Nan Nichols Classic on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. inside Timken Gymnasium.